Ball handling and control are critical aspects of your success in the game. Basketball control ranges from how you receive, hold and release it to the next target. If you can't have the ball long enough to pass to the next person on your team or make a score, you will be limiting your team's success and your winning chances.
Here are a few ball control tips you need for more efficiency and better play:
Dribble at Different Speeds
Work on dribbling and controlling the ball at different speeds. This tactic prevents the ball from being exposed to the opponents. You can combine strength and speed during dribbling as you make quick successions after each dribble to ensure you keep the ball on your side longer. Hard and fast dribbles give you more ball control.
Familiarize yourself with the Ball
Familiarize yourself with the ball by dribbling and touching all its parts as you practice. This prepares you to handle it well, regardless of the side you touch first. It also helps you get used to the ball's weight and gauge how high, low or fast you can dribble without losing it.
You should also understand your dominant hand and best playing side to know the best approach on the court. Familiarizing yourself with the ball, court, position, strengths, and weaknesses will give you more ball control.
Keep Your Head up and Eyes Down
As you dribble the ball, the most favorable position is keeping your head up and your eyes looking down the court. This posture enables you to detect motion on the floor and see the incoming opponents while looking out for the traps to avoid.
Without lowering your head, it's easy to look up and create a mental picture of the court's setup before turning your eyes back on the ball. Then you can see openings and throw the ball to your teammate. It also helps you calculate the needed steps to dodge the opposing defense and score into the basket.
Avoid High and Excessive Dribbling
Aim to keep the basketball low to the ground and avoid excessive bouncing so the ball stays in a manageable circle. Opponents cannot disrupt a low-key dribble so you can devise appropriate defense strategies.
Start by gauging your ability to dribble and how high you can keep the ball without losing focus. While at it, ensure your free hand is spread outward into an "arm bar" to prevent deflection and minimize the opposing defense's ability to steal it.
Rest the Ball on Your Fingertips
Dribbling with your fingertips gives you greater control and flexibility, as you can release the ball anytime. It is advisable to keep your fingers spread out and avoid resting the ball on your palm since it is harder to let go of it. Widespread fingers help you cover a large part of the ball, increasing your control.
Touching the ball with your fingertips and hand pads increases your precision when shooting into the basket. It also spreads the pressure around the ball so that you can release it quickly and powerfully.
Take Advantage of a Bounce
It is easy to control the ball with a bounce pass. In contrast to high passes, prone to interception, a bounce pass enables the ball to reach you from below the court as it must touch the ground once.
You can use a bounce to your advantage, but don't let it get out of hand. If you receive the ball this way, spread your fingers and hold it for a moment before dribbling low. This reception tactic gives you control of the ball as you design the next winning step.
Work on Your Physical Strength
Your strength and stamina influence your ability to control the ball. If you are not strong enough to dribble while protecting the ball from opponents, you have a high chance of losing ball control to your opponents. Increasing your forearms' and hands' strength enables you to dribble multiple times and get the ball right where you want it.
You must also train your mind to react in record time since ball control skills are tactical and physical. Combining these skills can help you maintain your composure and control the ball in the direction you deem fit.
As we conclude, ball control is easy if you have proper training. You must keep your mind in the game as much as other parts of your body to avoid losing touch with the ball. Invest in low and fast dribbling to limit your opponents' interception abilities, ensuring the ball remains in a small and manageable area.
Keep your eyes on the court and head high to switch your gaze whenever and analyze your chances. Strength training is suitable for stamina and protecting the ball by wading the surging opponents off.